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Here’s How Rippan Kapur Started CRY And Helped Millions Of Children

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It’s very encouraging to read stories and listen to great achievers and believe that anything is possible if you have the zeal like Kapur. In 1979, Rippan Kapur was an Indian Airlines purser who had started CRY with six of his friends.

I first heard about Rippan when I was travelling from Bombay (Mumbai) to Calcutta (Kolkata) in 1988. They had a brief announcement about CRY and I remember having picked up the envelope and remitted a small amount. This began as my first interaction for an important charitable cause.

Rippan entered this world with no connection, bank balances, wealth, assets. He was a normal middle-class boy with a normal middle-class job but had an unshakable belief and vision that Indian children were the responsibility of India. He managed to collect ₹7 each from six of his friends and put in ₹8 to ensure the required ₹50 to start an NGO called CRY.

His home in Bombay (Mumbai) was its office and had a dining table that was used for meetings and the empty spaces were used to fill up store to store greeting cards which were the initial source of revenue for CRY.

There was no payment gateway and face-to-face fundraising was the main criteria for raising funds. There was a group of people who talked about widespread impact, about funding individuals and groups that will work across India. He was going to create an organisation that would try to involve every citizen in the fight for justice for children.

Let us go back to the year 1979. There was no offer nor support for a mechanism to include it under financial assistance. You had no liberalisation, there were few multinationals and not too many transnational undertakings, and not many were billionaires, so to speak.

differently abled children
CRY has impacted the lives of over 3 million children.

“Social work” was mostly done by regular activists in the field, and wherever possible affluent men and women from all walks of life in cities “gave to charity”.

India is often termed by the social sector as a poor country rather of little means. Child labour, for example, was a case in point which is often accepted as a necessary evil that helped low-income families survive. Concepts like social entrepreneurship, social or eco start-ups, Corporate Social Responsibility, philanthropy and impact investing were unknown.

Today, more than equipping, inspiring and transforming, CRY is successfully visible and forms part of CRY works with 102 local NGOs across 19 states in India and has impacted the lives of over 3 million children.

Rippan, over the years, gathered some good friends, supporters and a team of dedicated colleagues. A major portion of the funds, slightly over 45% and a total of 3.4 crores CRY had generated and mobilised in 1993. It came largely from selling their greetings cards, diaries, gift items, mementoes, calendars, etc. These were often based on the works of eminent artists, renowned painters, visualisers and photographers.

Rippan Kapur died suddenly on 10 April, 1994 as quietly as he lived. He was just 39 years old. Today, after 42 years since its inception, CRY has successfully contributed the very purpose and meaning of life into the lives of over 10 lakh children and has found a permanent place in their hearts.

With a small and humble beginning to what it is today, CRY has made its presence in India, a country where millions of orphans still look for parents, their love, affection and sense of belonging with cultural identity, without resorting to unhealthy foreign donor dependence.

As they grow up, my Son and Daughter will continue to support the CRY initiative of Children’s Education along with other active support of generous donors spread all over the country and overseas.

Always look to do things you are passionate about and switch it by bringing passion to whatever you do currently. I cannot think of a better way to leave your imprints on the sands of time.

Forever remembered: Rippin Kapur, founder of CRY.

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